The Keys to
Good Self Esteem: Free Time and a Passion
By Sally Sacks
I think the most important thing you can do as a parent is to sponsor good self esteem in your
child. If a child believes in themselves and feels good about themselves, they can do most anything. One way to sponsor
self esteem is to help children to occupy their free time in ways that are
productive, and to encourage them to not only play with their friends,
but to do something that creates a passion for them and a meaning in life.
son is very involved in
sports, and loves most of them. Although as a mother I complain about
schedule, and parental driving obligations, I am so glad that he has
interest and passion. It keeps him busy and away from more destructive
behaviors that kids often get involved in when they have nothing better
I recently went to my stepdaughter’s play, and the cast was
so united and
connected as a group. They were planning their next play. Kids need
like these. They need help from parents to decide what interests them
don’t naturally have a specific interest.
kids don’t know
what they want to do, or don’t want to make the effort. This
is often because
of fear. They don’t think that they will do well so are
afraid to try. As a
parent you must talk to them about that fear, and be aware enough to
they have it. Sometimes parents don’t pick up on the fear,
and just feel that
the child is lazy or a homebody.
can you get your child
involved in more things? Talk to them, if they aren’t doing
much with their
free time, and tell them that you’d like them to be involved
special, that they can call their own. For example, if you wanted your
take dance, for the beauty, the movements etc, take them to a dance
performance, and then talk about it afterwards. Take them to a play,
them see how others unite as a group, and are praised for their
Here are eight things to
keep in mind to help motivate your kids to reach out and discover their
1.Introduce your child to new and
exciting things to
become involved in.
2. Encourage them to try something,
and be aware of
their fear to try.>
3. Tell them a story about when you
were scared to do
something and worked to overcome it.
4. Let them know that everyone has
fear, and that the
challenge is to overcome it.
5. Keep open communication about
the necessity to be
involved in things to succeed in life. Those with no interests and
don’t go far in succeeding.
6. Teach them about the
possibilities in the future for
them, so that they can imagine them, if they were to continue on with
interest and activity.
7. For example if they are in a
play, and do really
well, help them envision how fun it would be to be an actress/actor.
discussion about it.
8. Last but not least do
interesting things yourself. Children
learn by what they see, not as much by what you say!
actions on your part
will spark interests and ideas in your kids. Once they try something
the positive effects of it they will want more. If what they choose is
right for them, help them pick something else, and learn from their
rather than put themselves down. Remember to stay aware if they are
something due to fear. You must differentiate between fear of not being
enough and actual dislike for something. Usually fear is a strong
withdraw from something, or to never even try.
Sally Sacks, M.Ed is a licensed psychotherapist, with 20 years of experience, counseling individuals, children, families and couples. Sally is the author ofwww.sallysacks.com .